Title: The Taste of Metal

Author: Olivia Sutton

Fandom: Ironman (Second movie)

Archive: Fanfic Net

Categories: Angst, Romance

Rating: PG-13

Date: 18 June 2012

Chapters: 1

Summary: A short AU missing scene for the second film. Mild Pepperony. What was Tony thinking in Monaco?

A/N: This popped in my head after watching the second film and wouldn't leave me alone. It's very short but I hope it's enjoyed nonetheless. By the way, I'm a DC gal, not a Marvel fan, so I've only seen the Ironman films and The Avengers film (as well as the Spiderman trilogy and the X-men movies, not that it counts), so this is solely movie-based, as I have no knowledge of the comics whatsoever. Hopefully, that doesn't make Tony and/or Pepper out of character.

Disclaimer: Ironman belongs to Marvel Comics. The films belong to Paramount and Marvel Studios. This story is written for fun and for the enjoyment of other fans, no profit is made from this fanfic. Comments and reviews welcome. The Robert Downey Jr quote was found on the actor's bio on the Internet Movie Database (imdb).

"It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and I like the taste of metal.", Robert Downey Jr, on his addiction to drugs.

The Taste of Metal

by Olivia Sutton

Virginia Pepper Potts sat quietly seething, though her surroundings on the Stark Industries Corporate Jet were quite luxurious and calming. Within a few minutes, Tony Stark joined her, a covered dish in his hands. He placed the dish in front of her, then sat across from her.

"Pepper..."

"Tony..."

The both laughed, nervously, as they started to speak at the same time.

"You first..." started Tony.

"You first..." started Pepper.

"You know, we could do this all night but it's only an eight hour flight. Pepper, you first," said Tony.

Pepper nodded, swallowed, then leaned forward, picking up a glass of water from the table between her and Tony. She took a sip, then put the glass down again. Then she opened her other hand revealing the balled-up piece of paper she held.

Tony looked at it and paled, then said, "Oh, so... you read it? Obviously, it doesn't apply now."

Pepper calmly flattened the small envelope, and the note, and laid them on the table in front of Tony. "Suicide? Really? Tony, that's not the answer. It's never the answer!"

"I...I...I..."

"And trying to make it look like an accident? What were you thinking? 'Billionaire CEO Tony Stark, crashes race car during Grand Prix, Dead at 43'!"

Tony could practically see the air quotes of the non-existent headline she quoted.

"My God, Tony, What was going through your head?" Tears began to fall from her eyes.

"Pepper, don't. Don't cry. Didn't you read the whole thing? I'm dying, Pepper. The Palladium in the Arc Reactor in my chest is killing me. I tested my level in Monaco and it was high, very high. I don't have long." He confessed.

"So, what? You decided to go out with a splash? With a bang? Then I suppose I should thank Ivan Venko for forcing you to want to fight... for your life, Tony!"

Tony moved to her side, and pushed the portable table away. He knelt before her. "I love you."

"I know, somehow, I've always known."

"Pepper, Do you? Could you? Do you love me?"

Pepper looked down at him, before her, her eyes still shining. "Yes."

Tony nodded, then took her hand. "Help me."

"I will. Honest, I will help you through this, Tony. I will." She stood and took him in her arms. They fell back against the couch, and she ran her hands through his curly black-brown hair, while the other hand stroked his back. "I will help. But no more surprises. And no more secrets."

He smiled, then, and sighed as he cuddled against her.

"We'll figure it out. I promise. We will figure this out." Pepper stopped and simply held him as the plane flew West towards home.

The End